What conservatives really mean when they talk about “religious freedom” has been revealed already by their longstanding crusade against the birth control benefit afforded by the Affordable Care Act. For them, having religious freedom requires the right to discriminate—against specific people, and in a specific way.
The “boss bill” is designed to close a loophole that could make room for employer discrimination; it would prohibit an employer from discriminating against an employee on the basis of the employee’s (or a dependent’s) reproductive health decisions, including a decision to use or access a particular drug, device, or medical service.
State laws in Arizona, Kansas, Ohio, and elsewhere that would enshrine discrimination in the name of “religious liberty” have faced political setbacks, but a legal victory isn’t certain yet.
Much of the defense of the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act has focused on the public benefit to making contraception widely available and affordable. But there are a lot of reasons to uphold the mandate that have nothing to do with birth control.
Even if it is true that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act permits the religious exemptions sought by companies opposing the contraception mandate, what of the harm imposed on those whom the requirement is intended to benefit? What legal argument centers their concerns? The answer may lie in the Establishment Clause.
A flurry of legal briefs filed by members of Congress shows that resolution of the birth control benefit lawsuits is as much a political exercise as a judicial one.
What if the battalions of lawyers, pundits, and politicians have missed the easiest—and possibly best—argument against “corporate religious liberty rights” in the high-profile legal cases that challenge the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act?
State Rep. Gordon Denlinger is circulating a co-sponsorship memo seeking support in his effort to amend the state constitution from punishing a person or employer for making any kind of discriminatory decision.
At least three students are challenging the university’s position that making contraception coverage available to students and staff violates the school’s religious liberty.
In late March, the Roberts Court will consider whether corporations are people under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and whether the First Amendment recognizes corporate religious rights.